Living Space

"It must be awful cramped, though, living on a boat that size." The tourist blinked at Cody, her expression vaguely disapproving. "Why, even now, with both my daughters married and gone, I can't hardly find room to swing a cat in our home, can I, honey?"

Her husband shook his head obediently. "No, honey," he echoed.

"And I swear, I could fit your boat in my basement and still have room around the edges."

Cody smiled gently. "I'm happy with the Riptide as a home, ma'am. It doesn't feel too small to me."

"But it's not just you, is it?" Her pale-blue eyes gleamed. "There're three of you, isn't that right?"

"Yes, ma'am." Cody kept smiling. "Four if you count the Roboz. Course, he's not human -- hell, he isn't even a he, I suppose, but he's like family. Not a brother, no. Cousin? Second cousin? Kissing cousin? Hmm. Hard to say."

"Yes, well." Confused, derailed, discomfited, the woman backed away. "Henry. We should go." She summoned a tight, triangular smile. "It's happy hour at that Straightaway's place."

"So it is," Cody agreed. "Mention my name and they'll maybe add an umbrella to your cocktail, or an extra cherry."

Or tell them you want a Cody Special and maybe one of the little darlings serving it will spit in it for me…

He watched them walk away, the husband giving the girls on the deck of the Barefoot Contessa a furtive glance, the wife (lime-green polyester and an orange straw hat, what small amount of her skin was showing either pasty white or boiled scarlet) spotting him anyway and scolding him in a fierce whisper.

Then he shook his head and went below.

"Hey, careful there," Nick said, grinning and not moving aside on the stairs, so that Cody had to press up close against him, Nick's hands taking full advantage of the opportunity to wander, smooth and slow, over Cody's ass and up inside his open shirt.

Nick's hands on his bare skin did things to him, always had. They could roam and stroke, fingernails digging in lightly, while Nick's face remained calm and friendly, his voice level. Cody couldn't match that pretended, friendly indifference. He melted, like ice cream in the noon sun, and he was fairly sure there was sometimes drool involved, because if Nick was touching him, it meant Nick was close, and if Nick was close, why, he could kiss him, kiss that smile right off Nick's lips and swallow it down until it lit him up inside.

Nick moaned, his tongue flickering against Cody's, his hands hard now, moving in quick, desperate drags over Cody's back. God, he was going to leave marks, if he kept that up, and hot though the day was, Cody would have to keep his shirt on…

Worth it, though. And the way Nick was humping against him, the two of them balanced precariously on the stairs, they wouldn't be going anywhere, anyway.

No happy hour, no watching the sun set in a spectacular blaze of color.

Just the two of them on a small bed, in a small cabin, on a small boat.

Just the way he liked it.

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